Philadelphia will welcome the 36th annual Broad Street Run May 3rd. Forty thousand people will be taking the ten mile run down Broad Street.
The Broad Street Run was started in 1980 and due to it’s increased popularity over the years, they have created a lottery system to select the runners. The application is up for two weeks and the applicants are put through a lottery system, those who are selected get an email shortly after with an information packet on the race.
“I’m really excited that I have so many people around me who are also doing it,” said sophomore Sam Grandel, a first time Broad Street runner. “It’s going to be a lot of familiar faces around me on the run, making it a lot easier to do it.”
The Broad Street Run is one of very few ten mile races around and the participants from last year represented 43 states and 7 countries.
The race begins at W. Fisher and N. Broad St. in North Philadelphia and makes its way down to City Hall and through Center City to the Navy Yard in South Philadelphia. The race is a straight run except for the one turn around City Hall, making it the perfect course for runners to hit personal best times.
While the Broad Street Run has become a well known tradition of Philadelphia, it isn’t only loved by runners. The race has become a community event where many can take part in the festivities. Race Director Jim Marino noticed a change in the community that lived on Broad Street.
“They used to worry about ‘Oh we’re gonna be infiltrated by all these runners’ and everything, but now they’re all part of it, they come out and we set up four or five different water stations,” said Marino. “All the neighbors are up there taking part in it, and they have taken ownership, like ‘this is the start,’ our neighborhood is the start of the Broad Street Run.”
Sophomore Bryn Wassel will be running the race for her second time with her father who is considered a Veteran Runner. In order to be a Veteran Runner, you must have ran the race 10 times, consecutive or not.
“My dad was a college athlete, and he has always fallen in love with running and that’s a bond that we’ve had between us, we’ve always just done races together,” said Wassel. “So the Broad Street Run, my first time running it was last year, I felt compelled to do it because I go to school here and Broad Street is so relevant to me, it’s probably rooted from my dad.”
A sense of community has come to be expected in the Broad Street Run, with Director Marino saying the start of the race is always his favorite.
“When you see all forty thousand people up there at one time, and we do the national anthem and they’re all participating and singing. It’s pretty special when you see everybody up there. The mayor gets up there and gets them pumped up, it’s really a pleasant event to start off the race,” said Marino.
With only two months to the race, runners have started their training. With an extremely snowy winter in the books, runners have had to find ways to compensate for less-than-stellar running conditions, by going to the gym more and hitting the dreaded treadmill.
“I don’t really like running on the treadmill, but I use it to work on my pacing and my timing for each mile,” said Grandel.
Broad Street Run hits the city May 3.